Former Manchester United legend Roy Keane has claimed that he would be interested in managing the Republic of Ireland national team. The dynamic midfielder previously earned 67 caps for his country in the 1990s and early 2000s. He also has coaching experience with the Ireland team as well.

Keane was previously hired by Ireland manager Martin O’Neill in 2013. The former midfielder worked under O’Neil as an assistant coach. Scottish side Celtic came calling for Keane a year later, but the Red Devil passed on the opportunity. Instead, Keane remained with the Ireland national team for the duration of O’Neill’s stint at the helm, which lasted until 2018.

Former United star previously won Championship title with Sunderland

Keane’s remarks on the potential new gig came during a recording of the Stick to Football podcast. Along with the former United star, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Jill Scott, and Ian Wright all regularly make appearances on the show.

“International football, I enjoyed it when I was a coach,” Keane told his fellow podcast hosts. “I liked the dynamics of it where you’re not in every day and it’s not about bringing players in and dealing with the board every week or the academy. Yeah, that [international football] does appeal.”

“I did enjoy the dynamics when I was coaching with Martin with the Irish team. We had a little bit of success and when you’ve had a bit of success then it’s brilliant, but obviously, there are disappointments. So yeah, that could be an option.”

Prior to joining O’Neill with the Ireland team, Keane initially grabbed his first head coaching job with Sunderland in 2006. The combative former midfielder guided the Black Cats to the EFL Championship title in his first season in charge. The triumph subsequently earned Sunderland promotion back to the Premier League.

Keane then kept the club safe from relegation in their return to the top flight. Nevertheless, the coach departed Sunderland midway through the 2008/09 campaign because of poor performances. Players in the team reportedly celebrated his departure due to his harsh coaching style.

The former Red Devil also managed Ipswich Town before moving to the Ireland national team as well. Keane’s time with the Blues, however, was not as successful as his previous job.

Roy Keane prefers managing a national team like Ireland over a club

While Keane is admittedly interested in managing Ireland, he is less enthusiastic about running a club. “I’d like to go back into management, but I’m not desperate to sign any contract for anybody,” continued Keane.

“The off-field stuff, dealing with board members, that is tough. That can sap your energy. Unless you’re at a well-run club, there are those challenges off the pitch. If it was just about going in and working with the team, it would be great.”

The timing of Keane’s comments is particularly interesting. This is because the Ireland national team does not currently have a manager. Stephen Kenny previously coached the team for three-and-a-half years, but his contract expired back in November.

Ireland does not currently have matches on the fixture list until March. As a result, national team officials can take their time in selecting a new manager. Former Ireland midfielder Lee Carsley has previously been linked with the position, as has ex-Celtic coach Neil Lennon.